Denials quickly follow ‘Anonymous’ list of alleged KKK members – USA TODAY
The mayor of Lexington, Ky. says he’s not a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Anonymous postings saying otherwiseÂ are “false, insulting and ridiculous,” Jim Gray said in a statement on Monday.
Gray was responding to the release of names of purported KKK members by someone claiming to be with the hacktivist group Anonymous.
“I have never had any relationship of any kind with the KKK. I am opposed to everything it stands for. I have no idea where this information came from, but wherever it came from, it is wrong,” Gray said.
Others also named began to take to Twitter Monday to disavow themselves from the postings, which came from someoneÂ using the Twitter handle TheAnonMessage whoÂ postedÂ Anonymous, a global online activist network, said last week it would expose Ku Klux Klan members and publish personal details about alleged KKK adherents.
The murky world of online activists was in full display later in Monday, when another person or group also saying it was affiliated with Anonymous posted that it had not released any information and implied that to do so was reckless.
The data dump began to hit PasteBin, a site used to share and store text and computer code, on Sunday evening.
As of Monday morning there had been four listings, including 57 phone numbers and 23 email addresses. Some also included spouses of the supposed KKK members.
Sen. Dan Coats , R-Ind., whose name appeared on one list, tweeted Monday that he was in no way involved with the KKK.
The Ku Klux Klan was a white-supremacist terrorist group originally founded after the Civil War by former Confederate soldiers to fight against the reforms imposed by the North during Reconstruction. It had a huge national resurgence in the 1920s on a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment, largely fueled by bigotry against Jews, Catholics and blacks.
The Klan gained prominence again in the 1950s and 1960s, infamously employing murder and terror in its efforts to counter the Civil Rights movement. Since then, the group has been weakened and now exists as a loose grouping of individual chapters, still espousing a doctrine of racial hatred.
Anonymous claimed it would reveal the identity of 1,000 KKK members after gaining the information through a compromised Twitter account associated with the group.
Anonymous also is promising to unleash a social media campaign against the KKK on Nov. 4, using the hashtag #HoodsOff.
As detailed in a press release from the group, the event is timed to the first anniversary of the grand jury decision not to prosecute Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in August 2014.
“This is just the beginning,” read a press release issued by Anonymous Sunday.